After intense discussions for three days in New Delhi, the Congress on Sunday announced candidates for 218 out of the total 224 constituencies in Karnataka.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will contest only from one seat — Chamundeshwari in Mysuru. The Chief Minister is going to face a stiff challenge here from G.T. Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal (S). The JD(S) is making a determined bid to wrest the seat from the Congress.
Mr. Siddaramaiah’s request to contest from Badami in Bagalkot district too was shot down by the party high command stating that it would send the wrong message to the electorate. The Chief Minister had contested from the neighbouring Varuna in 2013.
State Congress president G. Parameshwara has been given ticket to contest from Koratagere in Tumakuru, while Yathindra, the Chief Minister’s son, will contest from Varuna.
All seven ex-JD(S) MLAs, who joined the Congress last month, as well as MLAs from other parties who switched sides — Anand Singh, B. Nagendra, Ashok Kheny and B.R. Patil, Satish Sail, Mankala Subba Vaidya — have been given ticket.
Senior Congress leaders in the list include Ministers Kagodu Thimmappa, D.K. Shivakumar, Ramalinga Reddy, K.J. George, M.B. Patil, Roshan Baig, H.C. Mahadevappa, H.K. Patil, U.T. Khader, Umashree, B. Ramanath Rai, T.B. Jayachandra, R.V. Deshpande, K.R. Ramesh Kumar, H.M. Revanna, Krishna Byre Gowda, Priyank Kharge; Speaker K.B. Koliwad; former Minister M.H. Ambareesh; and Congress working presidents Dinesh Gundu Rao and S.R. Patil.
Curiously, the candidate for the Shantinagar constituency has not yet been announced. The constituency is now represented by N.A. Haris, whose son Mohammed Nalapad Haris was recently involved in a brawl at a cafe in Bengaluru.